December 26
If we could see that everything,
even tragedy, is a gift in disguise,
we would then find the best way
to nourish the soul.

Elisabeth Kuebler-Ross


Today's Meditation:

Some things come disguised as gifts, while others come as something that doesn't look in the least to be a gift, but that bring us things that will turn out to be very important to us.  Sometimes, things that look to be awful turn out to be the best things that could possible happen to us--but it's up to us to accept them and learn from them if they're going to bring us any benefit at all.

The world is full of stories of people who have lost their homes, only to find that their new-found freedom from the bonds of the home has been a great gift, or of people who have lost a spouse and have thrived in their new situations.  Yes, some things are painful and some things are tragic, but if we do learn from them we will find that they bring to us lessons and growth that could come only through such means.  And Elisabeth's assertion that everything is a gift is a very strong set of words indeed, and if they're true, they should open up our eyes to many, many things that we need to learn.

I'm reminded of the story of a woman who lost her sight when she used a bottle of eyedrops that someone had filled with drain cleaner.  For the first year after her tragic loss, she didn't grow at all.  Then she decided that she still had to live, though, and she started learning some of the lessons that her blindness had to teach her, and she started living her life fully even without sight.  In no way would I say that losing her sight was best for her, but since lose it she did, at least she was able to learn and grow from the experience and look for the gifts in her new situation.

Of course, it's much more pleasant to learn in ways that don't involve tragedy and grieving.  And learning from the tragedies of life often takes much longer, especially if we have to pass through our grieving process first.  But it is up to us whether we recognize the gifts in such situations--if we keep our eyes and our hearts and our souls open to possibilities instead of closing them off, then we can help our spirits to grow and expand into a state of stronger love and awareness and compassion.

Questions to consider:

Why do we tend not to see the gifts that are inherent in the disasters of our lives?

What do you learn the most from--the obstacles or the easy times?

How might we help others who have gone through hard times to see the gifts that those hard times might have brought them?

For further thought:

Adversity, if for no other reason, is of benefit, since it is sure
to bring a season of sober reflection.  People see clearer
at such times.  Storms purify the atmosphere.

Henry Ward Beecher

More on adversity.


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